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Save over 50% on this collision-detecting dash cam episode download
15 décembre[ —]

People who ask themselves why they need a dashcam usually have one thing in common: They've never been a serious collision. Even in fender benders, these gadgets can save you an immense amount of time and hassle, stopping headaches before they even start.

If you're looking for a reliable starter cam, the myGEKOgear Orbit 110 Full HD Dashcam hits all the marks for a surprisingly low price point.

The video quality is likely higher than you'll need in most cases - but better to be safe than sorry. It shoots 1080p HD video day or night, thanks to the CMOS sensor. Another crucial factor: A 120-degree wide-angle lens that allows you to capture more than just the lane in front of you.

Once you mount it, you're good to go. A G-sensor will automatically detect undue braking or collisions, and the video is stored on an 8GB MicroSD card (but you can also expand your storage up to 32 GB if you like).

The Orbit 110 is currently on sale for half off the retail price, but you can take an extra 15% off that by using the holiday discount code MERRYSAVE15.

Juice up on the go with this power bank/wireless charger combo episode download
14 décembre[ —]

There's no shortage of wireless chargers out there. So when one scores a Best of Innovation Award at the Consumer Electronics Show, we take notice. And, those industry nods mean good news for just about anybody with a smartphone, because the HyperCharger X Wireless Charger means there's no excuse for losing power when you're out and about.

As a straight-up wireless charger, the thing packs a punch. It has 7.5 watts of power for Qi-compatible devices. No plugs in sight? It's also a power bank with 6,000 mAh of capacity, more than enough to get multiple devices throughout the day.

For old-school gadgets, you can charge by a 15W universal USB port. You can even charge up your phone wirelessly while recharging up the unit via the port, so there's no downtime.

And the cherry on top? The entire thing is as small as an iPhone X.

Right now, you can get a 2-pack of HyperCharger X Wireless Chargers for more than 40% off the retail price, but you can take another 15% off that final cost by using the holiday discount code MERRYSAVE15.

TikTok owner ByteDance launches new deal with Chinese government

14 décembre[ —]

The increasingly popular social media application TikTok has a concerning relationship with the Chinese state. That link became ever the more concerning today, when reports began circulating of a brand new partnership between the company that owns TikTok, ByteDance, and the government of China.

ByteDance owns the video-sharing app TikTok, and has established a joint venture with a Chinese state media group, official registration documents show.

“The joint venture will focus on partnership in the digital rights of short videos,” a ByteDance spokeswoman told Reuters in response to inquiries about the deal:

ByteDance, which is one of China’s fastest-growing startups, has formed a series of partnerships with state media organizations in order to feed its leading news aggregator platform, Jinri Toutiao.

Under the latest deal, Beijing Liangzi Yuedong Technology Co Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of ByteDance, will own 49% of the new company, Pengpai Audiovisual Technology (Jinan) Co Ltd, with Shanghai Dongfang Newspaper Co Ltd holding the remaining 51% majority stake, the documents from the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System showed.

Shandong-based Pengpai Audiovisual was established on Dec. 10 with a registered capital of 10 million yuan, according to the documents. Pengpai is the Chinese name of, an online newspaper published by Shanghai Dongfang.

ByteDance unit establishes venture with Chinese state media firm []

Utah destroys thousands of gallons of beer

14 décembre[ —]

In Utah, liquor authorities who have long been aligned with the Mormon patriarchs who more or less run everything in the state have poured thousands of gallons of drinkable beer down the drain -- no, literally-- after a change in state law allowed higher-alcohol beer.
Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control destroyed roughly $18,000 worth of beer in a single day on Friday, AP reports:

Authorities say they were legally required to dump the beer from state-owned liquor stores because a new law allowed those beers to be sold in private stores instead.

Utah had long prohibited grocery and convenience stores from selling beer stronger than 4% alcohol by volume. Everything else was sold at state liquor stores.

The law effective Oct. 31 increased that limit to 5%. Because the state-owned stores can’t stock anything available on the open market, officials discounted beers between 4% and 5% before Halloween, then threw away everything that was left.

The 275 cases of bottles and cans were recycled, they say.

Read More:
Utah tosses thousands of gallons of beer after law change []

Gentleman arrested after calling police 3 times to confess

14 décembre[ —]

In Georgia, a man was arrested after he called the sheriff's office to confess -- three separate times.

The Thomasville Times-Enterprise reports that Lt. Tim Watkins of the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect called at 5 a.m. on Friday to confess he'd stolen a car, and was now about 12 miles away in the small town of Boston, Georgia.

“He wanted to confess and turn himself in,” said an officer. “He called three times.”

"He called a third time and reported that he had broken into the Citgo and was drinking a beer," the officer told a reporter.

[via AP]

The UK's Conservative Party recently put up a new statue of known anti-Semite Nancy Astor

14 décembre[ —]

Nancy Astor was the first woman to sit in Parliament; this is true. She took her seat as a member of the Conservative Party on November 28, 1919. And so, to celebrate the centennial, the party put up a brand new statue of her outside of her former home at Plymouth Hoe. According to the BBC, the statue was made by artist Hayley Gibbs and cost £125,000, which was raised through crowdfunding.

It's somewhat of a relief that they paid for it themselves. Because Astor wasn't actually the first woman elected to Parliament. No, that honor went to that incomparable badass Constance Markievicz, the Irish revolutionary, suffragette, and staunch advocate for workers' rights. In keeping with Sinn Féin's abstentionist policy, however, Markievicz refused to actually take her seat in the British House of Commons, or participate in any parliamentary processes.

But okay, fine. Nancy Astor was the first woman to literally take her seat in Parliament. Whereas Markievicz famously advised women to, "Leave your jewels in the bank and buy a revolver," Astor once said, "I am the kind of woman I would run from." Case in point: while Astor claimed to despise the Nazi party for oppressing women, she also allegedly told Joseph Kennedy that she saw Hitler as a welcome solution to the “world problems” that were the Jews. According to the History News Network:

Astor wrote Kennedy that Hitler would have to do more than just "give a rough time" to "the killers of Christ" before she'd be in favor of launching  "Armageddon to save them. The wheel of history swings round as the Lord would have it. Who are we to stand in the way of the future?"

For what it’s worth, Astor was also famously anti-Catholic, though her and Kennedy were able to get over that hump and bond over their shared anti-Semitism.

I actually started writing this post right after Thanksgiving—on my birthday, in fact, when the news was first announced. But I didn’t distracted, and didn’t want to spend my day seething over anti-Semites and the continued disrespect of my beloved Constance Markievicz. I also figured, eh, these assholes won’t be in power any longer. It’ll be fine. It’ll be fine.

Not that posting earlier would have made any difference. But it’s all still absolutely shameful.

Statue erected of first woman MP to take seat despite Nazi sympathy claims [Jewish News Reporter]

Image via LSE Library / Flickr

Death Stranding Instagram filters

14 décembre[ —]

Now you can add some Kojima flavor to selfies or news coverage of the impeachment hearings. Erop has created two different Instagram filters.

And speaking of Death Stranding, check out this limited edition custom PS4 controller and stand:


The controller is themed after Sam’s Bridges delivery uniform featuring custom buttons, metal D-Pad, metal thumb sticks and custom touchpad styled to look like a container. The stand is styled after the BB pod with a detailed baby cast in clear yellow resin. The iconic Odradek Scanner attaches to the back of the stand to hang over the top of the controller when displayed together.

BB and Odradek Scanner come packaged in a custom, high quality hard case container.

Preorder closes at the end of December or once the initial 20 places have been reserved. Controllers will ship as soon as production has been completed which is expected to be March 2020 or earlier.

(Via Attract Mode.)

McKinsey's internal mythology compares management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits"

14 décembre[ —]

Consulting giant McKinsey is embroiled is a string of scandals, from the revelation thatit designed ICE's gulags to the news that it charged New York $27.5m for a fraudulent (and worse-than-useless) violence reduction program for Rikers Island, to the news that it charges US governments $3m/year for advice from fresh-out-of-college, inexperienced 23-year-olds.

Reading about these scandals, you may be asking yourself how it's possible that McKinsey can be so extraordinarily terrible, and for an answer, you need look no further than the company's own internal discussions of its role in society.

Propublica obtained McKinsey's 2010 internal history, in which employees are told that the firm is comparable to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits" in that it is "analytically rigorous, deeply principled seekers of knowledge and truth" married with a sense of shared values that exceeds what "even the Catholic Church can promise."

McKinsey has, since then, disclosed a number of new potential conflicts in old bankruptcy cases and paid $32.5 million to creditors and the United States trustee to settle claims over insufficient disclosures. The trustee has said that “McKinsey failed to satisfy its obligations under bankruptcy law and demonstrated a lack of candor.” The firm denies wrongdoing and says it settled “in order to move forward and focus on serving its clients.”

Subsequently, McKinsey has moved, in effect, to rewrite the rules. It drafted a protocol ostensibly meant to clarify what advisers like itself need to disclose. Critics pointed out that McKinsey’s protocol allows such firms to avoid disclosing relationships they deem indirect or “de minimis.”

There remains more to come. Apart from the criminal investigation, a judge in Houston has scheduled a trial in February to decide the merits of Alix’s allegations. The judge, David R. Jones, has described the trial in apocalyptic tones. It will be, Jones has said, “the ultimate career ender for somebody.” For McKinsey, a trial would mean being called on to defend its work in public — with real accountability and real consequences for its actions. The firm might even benefit in the long run from the sunlight.

How McKinsey Makes Its Own Rules [MacDougall/Propublica]

Lawmaker admits not independently researching lobbyist's claim that ectopic fetuses could be reimplanted in the uterus, blames medical journals

14 décembre[ —]

Ohio lawmakers introduced legislation that would see women and doctors charged with murder if they did not re-implant fetuses from ectopic pregnancies in women's uteruses, a procedure that does not exist and is impossible.

Now we're getting some insight into how legislators came to introduce this bizarre bill: according to State Rep John Becker [R-Gilead/@beckergop)], the relevant passages were written by Right to Life Action Coalition of Ohio lobbyist Barry Sheets, who advised Becker that he could ignore scientists who pointed out that the only evidence that the procedure could be performed were two "case reports," one published in 1917, the other in 1980.

Becker now says that if anyone is at fault, it's the medical journals, for failing to retract these two isolated reports. He told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "But these are documented. They should get the medical journals corrected if this is wrong."

To the geneticist's concerns that Becker was promoting a rarely used procedure without knowing the possible side effects, Sheets responded, to a forwarded email, “That's a good one.”

“The ‘side-effects’ are that the embryo was carried to full-term and a baby was given birth to, according to the 'case reports,'” Sheets wrote. “What are the 'side-effects' on the current treatment for ectopic pregnancies on the embryo? Oh, that's right — death.”

Lawmaker Says He Didn't Research Ectopic Pregnancy Procedure Before Adding To Bill [AP]

Emails: Lobbyist Helped Draft Bill Suggesting Docs Could Reimplant Ectopic Pregnancies [Cincinnati Enquirer]

(Image: Ohio House of Reps; Hulu; modified)

Private equity looters startled to be called out by name in Taylor Swift award-acceptance speech

14 décembre[ —]

Taylor Swift has been embroiled in a terrible dispute with Scooter Braun, who acquired Swift's former label for $300m, delivering him control over Swift's first six albums. Swift says that Braun had bullied and tormented her for years, and that the owner of her original label, Scott Borchetta, had sold the label to him in order to punish Swift.

Since then, Braun has used his ownership of Swift catalog to bar her from performing her own hits on tour (he eventually relented after bad publicity) and to engage in general petty fuckery with no obvious business case, seemingly motivated entirely by his desire to make Swift miserable by weaponizing her own creative output.

But Braun didn't just happen to have $300m lying around to use for his vendetta. He raised that money from private equity investors, who have fast become the most unpopular rich people in a crowded field of loathesome sociopaths.

On Thursday, Swift accepted the "Woman of the Decade" award at Billboard's Women in Music conference, and in her speech she called out both the investment firm and the individuals who funded it as having culpability in her torment: "the Soros family, 23 Capital and the Carlyle Group." Swift went on to criticize private equity as a whole, calling it a "potentially harmful force [to] the music industry [that is] buying up our music as if it is real estate, as if it is an app or a shoe-line."

According to the New York Post, one of the named investors "was stunned that the normally staid world of private equity was even mentioned at a rock ‘n’ roll event."

Private equity stunned to be dragged into battle between Taylor Swift and Scooter Braun [Richard Morgan/New York Post]

(Thanks, Kathy Padilla!)

(Image: Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer, CC BY-SA, modified)

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